assert() will check the given
assertion and take appropriate action if
its result is FALSE.
assertion is given as a string it
will be evaluated as PHP code by assert().
The advantages of a string
less overhead when assertion checking is off and messages
assertion expression when
an assertion fails. This means that if you pass a boolean condition
assertion this condition will not show up as
parameter to the assertion function which you may have defined with the
assert_options() function, the condition is converted
to a string before calling that handler function, and the boolean FALSE
is converted as the empty string.
Assertions should be used as a debugging feature only. You may use them for sanity-checks that test for conditions that should always be TRUE and that indicate some programming errors if not or to check for the presence of certain features like extension functions or certain system limits and features.
Assertions should not be used for normal runtime operations like input parameter checks. As a rule of thumb your code should always be able to work correctly if assertion checking is not activated.
The behavior of assert() may be configured by assert_options() or by .ini-settings described in that functions manual page.
The assert_options() function and/or ASSERT_CALLBACK configuration directive allow a callback function to be set to handle failed assertions.
assert() callbacks are particularly useful for building automated test suites because they allow you to easily capture the code passed to the assertion, along with information on where the assertion was made. While this information can be captured via other methods, using assertions makes it much faster and easier!
The callback function should accept three arguments. The first argument will contain the file the assertion failed in. The second argument will contain the line the assertion failed on and the third argument will contain the expression that failed (if any - literal values such as 1 or "two" will not be passed via this argument)
Example 1. Handle a failed assertion with a custom handler